A hidden danger in the swamp
The lily itself is not drowning, boy. It'll be you if you don't keep your wits about you.The drowning lily is an aquatic plant found in the swamps of central Caia, most prevalent in the country of Kaien. It is named for the unfortunate frequency of drowning accidents amongst young children in the waters where it grows.
The primary leaf is not actually one solid leaf. It has a hidden slit across the middle, where the two halves of the leaf overlap. Underneath is a large bulbous chamber, or sac, which usually is around four feet deep. This chamber contains a pool of digestive acid, and the sides are covered in slippery, downward-pointing hairs. If prey - generally a frog, toad, or a small rodent - lands on the leaf, they fall through into the chamber and are trapped. The surrounding leaves are known as satellite leaves. They provide a safe place for prey to sit, giving them a false sense of security. In the warmer months, pale yellow flowers the size of dinner plates join the satellite leaves congregating around the primary leaf. These are not used for reproduction, but they attract insects that in turn entice the drowning lily's prey. The drowning lily has a large, single stem that extends down under the water. Smaller, thinner stems extend off this main stem, attached to both the satellite leaves and flowers. The main stem is thick and straight, and is full of air pockets that aid the plant's buoyancy. At the end of the stem is a large, spreading root system. It stretches out to almost ten foot across, anchoring the drowning lily safely in the soft mud.
Despite its name, the drowning lily is neither a lily nor a water lily. It is, in fact, a species of pitcher plant.
The drowning lily has several large, round leaves that float on the surface of the water. Each dark green leaf has a lip that prevents water from flooding over the top. The largest of these is known as the primary leaf, and generally grows to around three feet across. The leaves that surround it are smaller, up to a third of the size.
The average drowning lily has a primary leaf of around three feet across, with its digestive chamber being an average of four feet deep. Satellite leaves can be up to a foot across, though generally do not grow that large. The largest known specimen's primary leaf was five and a half feet wide, with a digestive chamber seven foot deep. Rumours and stories of larger drowning lilies exist, though are currently unfounded.